Mobile's Not a Noun, It's a Verb: Behavior is Everything

Mobile's Not a Noun, It's a Verb: Behavior is EverythingA lot of marketers may think of mobile as a channel, a thing, a site, a means — particularly in regard to their own advertising efforts. In their minds, it’s a noun.

But according to Jeff Fagel, CMO at G/O Digital, we really should be thinking of mobile as a verb.

“If there’s one thing I’m sure of as a marketer, it’s that mobile is more than its channel — it’s a behavior,” Fagel says in a post at Venture Beat.

Fagel has thought long and hard about this. With more than 20 years of brand, digital, and startup marketing experience, Fagel has held multiple leadership roles at PepsiCo, Frito-Lay & and Sears Holdings.

Fagel writes about the advent of the “ultra-connected mobile consumer,” which has permanently changed the way people shop.

“Mobile devices have become a habit we’ve integrated into our daily lives that have dramatically changed the ways we interact with the world,” Fagel says.

What’s a marketer to do?

Fagel has some suggestions. For one thing, it requires marketers to stop limiting the capabilities of mobile marketing to its channel only.

“I don’t say this to call out errors or mistakes — I say this to help marketers realize the power of mobile marketing in untangling and facilitating the path to brick-and-mortar,” he says.

Fagel points to a recent Google report showing that 79 percent of mobile consumers are using their devices to aid in shopping activities and 84 percent use their devices in store.

Companies that make that transition from phone to store seamless will fare better.

“For example, consumers can download the Home Depot app and read product reviews in-store by scanning product UPCs,” Fagel explains. “Beyond in-store, the app displays real-time inventory, makes it easy for consumers to buy products online and pick-up in store and even locate products through the use of an in-store map and aisle locations.”

Because mobile is — again — a verb, Fagel stresses that consumers want messages that are relevant to them.

“While retailers have been focused on what’s ‘sexy’ in local — iBeacons, geo-fencing, and other technologies — we need to consider how consumers already interact with their devices and take advantage of that behavior.”

Keep it local, keep it simple is Fagel’s advice.

“Anything that adds work on the consumer side — from opt-ins to turning on their location settings — may sound good on paper, but today’s mobile consumer quickly tires of novelty that requires effort,” he cautions.

Home improvement retailer Lowe’s, Fagel writes, has mastered the art of the simple with its brilliant mobile campaign leveraging Vine, a mobile app that enables users to create and post short six-second home improvement video clips.

“Not only are these clips simple — “Keep bugs out of your sandbox with a little cinnamon” or “Use caulk to make it stay put” — but they’re also in tune with home improvement shoppers’ local needs,” Fagel notes. “This is a perfect example of how a brand enables consumers to access tips to common home improvement problems in a mobile-friendly way while on-the-go and ultimately, drives these mobile shoppers to make a purchase in a local Lowe’s store.”

Fagel has much more to say — about personalization, communication, localized marketing, and other mobile matters. Go here to read more.